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Friesland & Lake Ijssel 8 Day Bike and Barge Tour (Guided)

  • 8days
  • Netherlands

Single bed room:
Twin bed room:
Double bed room:
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Bike & Barge Tours Europe

Cycling holiday Friesland and Lake IJssel

The IJsselmeer (formerly the Zuiderzee ‘Southern Sea’) is inextricably connected with the period of prosperity in the 17th century, the Golden Age, when Holland was one of the most powerful seafaring trading countries. All around the IJsselmeer there are numerous ports, which at the time were even known at the other end of the oceans of the world.

After crossing the IJsselmeer you arrive in the province of Friesland. The peace and nature have made Friesland extremely popular with sailors and skaters, but certainly also with cyclists. The Frisian towns owe their rise to shipping and trade and its heyday lies between 1000 and 1500, Our route leads you through towns and villages, with the green watery countryside in between, where farming usually determines the horizon.
Other important parts of the scenery consist of the numerous little bridges, that ‘leap’ the ditches and the sailing boats that cross the vast lakes like white swans. The picturesque villages, historic towns and the original Frisian traditional costumes complete the image of the greenest province of The Netherlands. The last part of the tour you cycle along the Ijsselmeer back to Amsterdam again. One of the highlights on this tour is a visit to het Zuiderzeemuseum‘ in Enkhuizen. Crafts typical of the time are practiced in this open-air museum, and houses, boats and costumes can be admired.


  • Frisian cities like Sloten, Sneek and Stavoren
  • Sailing on the IJsselmeer
  • Lakes and waterways Friesland
  • Zuiderzee museum, a unique piece of Dutch history

Tour Character: Level 1, Guided Group Tour

The lightest cycling holiday; over mostly flat terrain, with not too long daily distances (average 50 km). Short steep slopes with height differences of up to ± 100 meters occur.

Your accomodation: 

Your barge has a roomy and cosy saloon, equipped with a complete music installation. After a strenuous bike ride it is a great place to relax. An extensive range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks is available for the ''après de velo". Outside there is a sun deck/a deck for the bicycles. The crew consists of a skipper, a cook and a sailor/hostess. There is limited WiFi on board.

10 Twin cabins, beds can be placed together and 2 Triple cabins (with upper bunk). All cabins are provided with: private bathroom, central heating, 220 voltage, soap, windows that open. Hair dryers are available on board. There is limited storage space in the cabin. We recommend 1 suitcase per person. You can slide the suitcase under the bed.

Included in the Tour:

  • All nights on board (8 days / 7 nights),  cabin in your booked category
  • Full board (7 x breakfast, 6 x self-made picnic lunch for bike tours, 7 x three course dinner)
  • Use of bed linen and 2 towels (change of towels possible)
  • Coffee and tea on board
  • Tour guide, cycles with the group
  • Min. 3 city walks with the tourguide
  • Free WiFi is limited available in lounge and on deck
  • Road book, 1x per cabin
  • Ferry fares on the route

Not included:

  • Bicycle rent
  • Entrance fees to museums; approx. € 25,- per tour
  • Other drinks on board
  • Personal insurance

If you would like to rent a bike (110 EUR) or E-Bike (220 EUR), please contact us when booking at [email protected] 


  • We do not allow private e-bikes on board (due to safetly regulations)
  • In case of Celiac; gluten free diet; lactose free; vegan meals there is an additional charge of € 75, – per week.
  • The program is subject to change without notice

Arrival/ Departure: 

  • Boarding is between 12:30 PM and 1:30 PM. The barge leaves dock at 2 PM. The mooring place of the barge in Amsterdam is harbour Oosterdok; zip-code 1011 VX (near the Science Center: ‘Nemo’, Oosterdok 2).
  • Airport: The nearest airport to the embarkation point of the barge is Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS). There is a direct train that leaves 6 times per hour from the airport to Amsterdam Central Station. It takes about 16 minutes. The price for a train ticket Schiphol-Amsterdam Central is € 6,- per person for a single journey. Walking distance to the barge is about 10 to 15 minutes. A taxi from the airport to the barge in Amsterdam takes about 30 minutes. It costs about € 60,-.
  • Train: The nearest train station to the embarkation point of the barge is Amsterdam Central Station. Walking distance to the barge is about 10 to 15 minutes. A taxi from the station to the barge takes about 5 minutes: Costs about € 10,-.
  • Car: If you arrive by car, we recommend you to arrive earlier to unload your luggage. You can find more information about parking possibilities at I amsterdam. The nearest parking is Parking Centrum Oosterdok, (about € 275,- per week, it is not necessary to reserve in advance; 500m walking distance to the barge).
  • End of the tour: The tour ends one week later on Saturday morning after breakfast before 10 AM. You will spend the night from Friday to Saturday on board in Amsterdam. After the tour ends in you can take the train back to Schiphol Amsterdam Airport. Should you have an early flight, no problem. You may leave as early as you need to.

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  • Day 1

    Amsterdam - Lelystad, 15 km

    Amsterdam, boarding between 1 and 2 pm. In the afternoon we sail to the new town of Lelystad, and after the short bike ride there the programme for the next day and the rest of the week will be explained to you at dinner time

  • Day 2

    Lelystad - Sneek, 45 km

    From Lelystad, the barge sails across the IJsselmeer to Lemmer from where we continue by bike to Sneek. You ride via the wooded Gaasterland region. In this region you will find the old village of Balk. Later on you pass through IJlst, an idyllic little town with a narrow town canal, low houses and a ribbon of linden trees. The banks of the connecting waterway between IJlst and Sneek are covered with a fringe of reeds and the occasional willow and alder. Riding through this green landscape you can enjoy the abundant flora and fauna special to this region. You end the day in Sneek, a town living within the surrounding water. In the local museum you can get an impression of the Frisian history of seagoing and inland shipping as well as of shipbuilding and the ice-skating sport.

  • Day 3

    Sneek - Leeuwarden, 40 km

    Riding out of Sneek you first pass through Boazum. Boazum offers you a wonderful example of Romanesque architecture: the church St. Maartenskerk. Further up the road you ride past several terp villages. You can recognise old dikes now meandering through the landscape, like the Slachtedijk. The Slachtedijk is a so-called inner dike, 42 kilometres in length. The dike makes an unforgettable impression on you as it winds through the landscape in a picturesque way. Today’s destination is Leeuwarden. It is the capital of Friesland and is a typically Dutch city with narrow streets, brick houses and canals, where you can visit various museums, shops and the historic town centre with a beautiful park.

  • Day 4

    Leeuwarden - Makkum, 45 km

    You ride out of the provincial capital Leeuwarden and enter the flat land with meadows again. After about an hour cycling you reach the old university town of Franeker. It is a lovely town to walk around in. Here you can visit the world famous 17th century planetarium of Eise Eisinga. Via lovely villages with age old churches you will reach Makkum, a town famous for its pottery. If you want, you can make a short detour to the interesting harbor of Harlingen, yet another of the famous Frisian Eleven Cities.

  • Day 5

    Makkum - Stavoren, 40 km

    From Makkum you continue riding through the meadows to Workum, a town that flourished around 1300 when other towns lost their connection to the open sea. Next comes Hindeloopen wich is a town with its own dialect, traditional costume and painting style. In earlier times Hindeloopen did not have its own harbour, but only anchorage. The fleet was in Amsterdam while the captains spent the winters in their 'commandeurswoning' (captain's residences) in Hindeloopen. At Nieuwstad in the town centre you can admire these well-preserved houses. Today’s destination is the historical harbour town Stavoren. The city was granted city rights between 1060 and 1067, making it the oldest city in Friesland

  • Day 6

    Stavoren - Hoorn, 30 km

    In the morning you sail to Enkhuizen crossing the IJssel lake, since 1932 the largest fresh water lake in the Netherlands. Enkhuizen is a nice old harbour town to explore, and after arrival in Enkhuizen you can visit the Zuiderzeemuseum. This museum shows you the history of everyday life around the Zuiderzee until the middle of the 20th century. Today's cycling stage will take you to Hoorn along the IJsselmeer dike with on your left the IJsselmeer en on your right the lower lying land. Hoorn was a major harbour in the 17th century. From here ships sailed for the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), America, Scandinavia and the Mediterranean.

  • Day 7

    Hoorn - Amsterdam, 45 km

    The first part you sail to Volendam, originally a small fishing community, now a tourist attraction. Here your last cycling stage starts. You cycle to Monnickendam where you can see the towns many old gables, plaques, chur­ches and towers. Then on to Marken, a former island with many green painted wooden houses and its own particular character. Near the lighthouse there is a nice little beach where you can enjoy your lunch and perhaps take a swim in the fresh water of the IJsselmeer. The last part of the stage takes you through an area called Waterland. You will understand why it is called that when you see that the houses and other buil­dings are almost at water level and that the ground is soggy. At the end of the afternoon you will reach Amsterdam. Once you are back at the boat in Amsterdam it is time to take leave of your bikes. In the afternoon there still is some time to go into town and after dinner you may want to finish off your trip by going on a city walk or taking a trip on one of Amsterdam's canal boats.

  • Day 8

    Amsterdam, end of tour

    End of the tour after breakfast, before 10 AM.

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Tours marked with are special prices.

Start End Max. No. Guests Accommodation Price p.p.
Jun 27 2024 Jul 04 2024 26 Single rooms 1,865€
Double rooms 1,280€
Jul 04 2024 Jul 11 2024 26 Single rooms 1,495€
Double rooms 1,175€

Car rental in Netherlands

If you would like to drive yourself before or after your tour, ask us for a quote on any brand new Renault, Peugeot or Citroen vehicle for driving in Europe.

Pick up your vehicle from most capital cities in Europe and return it to your drop off destination. Top insurance cover. Email [email protected] for a competitive quote

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